The government has expressed great shock and disbelief at the tragic murder of Mr Samuel Enin, the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) last Friday.
“The government registers its utter revulsion at this dastardly and cowardly act and assures the bereaved family and all journalists that the apparatus of the security has been put to work to unravel the mystery behind the murder”.
A statement signed by Mr Kwamena Bartels, Minister of Information and National Oreintation said while extending “ our condolences to the bereaved family, the government wishes to register its solidarity and support for journalists in the performance of their duties and hope that Mr Enin's murder, whatever the motives will not hamper their continued drive towards maturing the country's democracy”.
It also called for calm from journalists, the family and the public until the real motive behind Mr Enin's murder was unravelled.
“Government urges the public and any person with information, that will aid the work of the security agencies to come with such information expeditiously”, the statement said.
In a related development, the Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Prof Kwame Karikari, has asked Ghanaians not to jump to any conclusions as far as the murder in Kumasi of Mr Enin, a journalist, is concerned, reports Caroline Boateng.
He said unless police investigations proved so, it was not right for the public to assume that the murder of Mr Enin, the News Editor of Ashh FM, was due to his professional practice as a journalist.
He told the Daily Graphic, however, that the manner in which Mr Enin was murdered over the weekend was shocking and a strange occurrence in the country and society.
While commending the efforts of the GJA in putting out a ransom of ¢10 million for clues to unravel the mystery surrounding the killing, he also called on the National Media Commission (NMC) to come out forcefully in support of efforts at finding the culprits.
Prof Karikari said the tragedy indicated a general criminality in the country which had to be stamped out to prevent its recurrence.
He was of the view that the proliferation of small arms in the country had also contributed to the easy access to weapons by criminal elements and their indiscriminate use and charged the government to revive initiatives started earlier in its tenure to end the proliferation of small arms.
In another development, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Regional Office in Dakar, Senegal, Rapporteur Sans Frontiers (Reporters without Borders) in Paris, France and Committee for the Protection of Journalist, New York, have extended their condolence to the bereaved family and the journalism fraternity in Ghana.
In their discussions with the GJA, they expressed solidarity with journalists in these trying times and indicated that they were monitoring developments.
The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has also sent a letter of condolence on behalf of the National Executive Council and its membership.
The letter, signed by the President of the GMA, Dr Francis Adu-Ababio and addressed to the President of the GJA said “The GMA mourns with you over the loss and hopes that the culprits will be apprehended.”
Meanwhile, more journalists have expressed outrage at the killing of Mr Enin by two gunmen at a popular drinking spot at Pankrono Estates in Kumasi.
The latest to do so are the Brong Ahafo, the Central, the Upper West and the Western Regional branches of the GJA.
The Brong Ahafo Branch condemned the brutal killing of Mr Enin and called on the police to thoroughly investigate the incident to bring the perpetrators of the heinous act to book.
In a statement, the branch described the late Mr Enin as a fearless journalist who did not compromise on principles and expressed the hope that “his killing was a mere accident and not politically-motivated, as is being rumoured”.
For its part, the Central Regional Branch also condemned the killing of the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the GJA, saying it was unacceptable.
“We wish to express our utmost disgust at the reprehensible act,” it said, and urged the public to assist the police to find the culprits at all cost.
The Upper West Regional Branch called on well-meaning Ghanaians to join the GJA in condemning the act and offer the necessary support to the security agencies to get the perpetrators of the gruesome murder of Enin.
The statement by the Western Regional Branch said it was saddened by the circumstances leading to the death of Mr Enin and expressed the hope that the perpetrators would be arrested and prosecuted.